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IPL 2024: Virat Kohli reflects on career-altering game, two most crushing heartbreaks of his cricketing journey

Updated on: 18 May,2024 06:17 PM IST  |  New Delhi
mid-day online correspondent |

Speaking on one of his career's biggest heartbreaks, he revealed that not being able to win the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup and the IPL for his side was "heartbreaking" and the loss in the T20 WC drained him so much that he could not get out of his room

IPL 2024: Virat Kohli reflects on career-altering game, two most crushing heartbreaks of his cricketing journey

Virat Kohli (Pic: AFP)

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Talismanic India batter Virat Kohli opened up on two figures who helped him during his initial career and recalled the two "heartbreaks" he experienced during his peak of batting form back in 2016.


Virat, representing Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in IPL 2024 will be in action against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Saturday at Bengaluru. With RCB at seventh place with six wins, seven losses and 12 points and CSK in the fourth place with seven wins, six losses and 14 points, this match is a knockout match that will decide which team gets to join Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL 2024 playoffs.


Speaking to JioCinema along with former cricketer Suresh Raina, Virat revealed that back in 2008 during the Emerging Players tournament in Australia, the then-chief selector Dilip Vengasarkar and Raina pushed his name for the national side. That tournament used to hold a lot of value back then since a lot of great talent would use that as a platform for getting a regular national spot. It was held from 2005-2011.


During that tournament, Virat failed in a few initial games while batting in the middle order under the leadership of Subramaniam Badrinath and was benched. When Raina joined the tournament mid-way as a captain, he asked the coach Pravin Amre why he was not playing and Virat was promoted to the opening spot, replacing Ajinkya Rahane on the insistence of Raina.

"That match happened against New Zealand (when he played as an opener) Dilip was our selector. One thing is that you have heard about someone, the other is that you have seen someone. That makes an different impact. You see someone play, absorb pressure etc. He saw me opening, I made 120. That is when he (Dilip) decided that more chances have to be given to me. I am very thankful to him, I told him before as well that he (Raina) pushed my name," said Kohli.

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In that tournament, Virat played six games and scored 206 runs at an average of 41.20, with a century and a fifty. His best score was 120*.

That match would go on to change Virat's fortunes and he would make his international debut in August 2008 against Sri Lanka. After being in and out of the team due to the presence of seniors, it was the Emerging Players 2009 tournament that helped him establish himself as a permanent player for India. India won that tournament and Virat emerged as a top-scorer with 405 runs in nine games at an average of 50.62, with two centuries and two fifties. His best score was 115*.

Speaking on one of his career's biggest heartbreaks, he revealed that not being able to win the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup and the IPL for his side was "heartbreaking" and the loss in the T20 WC drained him so much that he could not get out of his room.

"There have been just two heartbreaks in my career, and both were in 2016. One was the T20 World Cup. I was in a space where I thought that I could do anything. The no-balls and everything, that took me a lot of time to get over I was literally drained and didn't get out of my room the next day," said Virat.

"Then, when we lost the IPL final here (M. Chinnaswamy Stadium). We felt like that was written in the stars, from how we made it to the final. Also, the final was at our home ground. We were chasing 200-odd runs and were over 100 runs in nine overs with no loss. When AB (de Villiers) got out, we needed 68 off 42 balls with eight wickets in hand. It's like how did we lose that game?," he concluded.

2016 was Virat's peak at batting. In 37 international matches, Virat scored 2,595 runs at an average of 86.50, with seven centuries and 13 fifties. In 15 T20Is, Virat scored 641 runs at an average of 106.83 and a strike rate of over 140, with seven fifties. His best score was 90*.

Virat was also the top-scorer in the ICC T20 World Cup and won the 'Player of the Tournament' title. In five matches, he has scored 273 runs at an average of 136.50 and a strike rate of over 146, with three half-centuries. But still he could not prevent India's loss to West Indies in the semifinal.

In the IPL 2016 as well, Virat emerged as the highest run-scorer and set the record for most runs in a single edition. He scored 973 runs at an average of 81.08 in 16 games, with four centuries and seven fifties. But RCB lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final by eight runs.

(With agency inputs)

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